Thursday, June 01, 2006

As circulated in e-mails:

Advocacy versus Arroyo's classroom sufficiency stat

In a cabinet meeting, Gloria Arroyo showed her temper when Acting Secretary Fe Hidalgo presented that public school classroom shortage is 6,832. Arroyo claimed that based on their (Malacanang's) computation, there is no classroom shortage. If ever there is, the shortage would only be less than 1,000 . The basis of the computation, according to her, is the "agreed formula" of 100 students per classroom! Which is again another Garci-style figure manipulation just to show that she is a working president and has accomplishments. (Sounds like "I won fair and square!")

I am sure many will be misled if GMA's manipulated "classroom sufficiency" figures will be released. And many, especially those who haven't been to the grassroots or entered public schools, will be proselytized to believe Arroyo's manipulated statistics.

What should we do?

In New York, there was a corrupt politician named William Marcy Tweed a.k.a., "Boss Tweed". He was a leader of the Tammany Ring, one of the notorious political groups in the US. Since 1869, accounts regarding his corrupt practices were published in New York Times but these did not make an impact. Even Boss Tweed and the Tamany Ring were not troubled by the newspaper ccounts. In 1870, Thomas Nast drew political cartoons against Boss Tweed and the Tamany Ring. These were published in Harper's Weekly. The cartoons troubled Boss Tweed which led him to exclaim: Stop them damned pictures. I don't care so much what the papers say about me. My constituents can't read. But, damn it, they can see pictures!

Now, my proposition is that the youth arm of Akbayan, or any committee or group within the party, should spearhead the collection of pictures on (GMA's) "sufficient" classrooms particularly those that portray the following scenes:

  • over-crowded classrooms
  • classes held under the trees
  • classes held beside the dilapidated buildings, CRs, along hallways, pathways, etc.
  • classrooms lacking chairs (i.e., with pupils sitting on floors) and other facilities
  • dilapidated buildings
  • other pictures that will show the truth and contradict Arroyo's claim
Gather as much pictures as possible and send these to the Arroyo and the DepEd, publish these in newspapers, upload these on websites, circulate these on e-mails and other electronic chatrooms, flash these on teevees, etc. The pictures should bear an encryption similar to this one: We do not lack classrooms according to Gloria Arroyo. Of course, preferably, the pictures should contain facts such as the time and place taken to tell everyone that we are not into manipulating pictures as Arroyo is into manipulating figures. The objective, of course, is to show everyone the truth behind Arroyo's statistics.


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